Gabriel Navarro is principal of MMG Equity Partners.

Growing up in the family retail drugstore business, I was fascinated by the emergence of “category killers” in the 80’s and 90’s and followed their growth very closely.  As I drive by their stores today and see their ongoing liquidations, and leases being auctioned, I am reminded me of a book that I read in 2005 titled “Category Killers – The retail revolution and its impact on consumer culture”.  I thought it a good time to pull it off my shelf and skim it over.

In 2005, the “category killers”, or “big box” retailers, were all the rage and their growth seemed unstoppable.  The book chronicled the growth of these chains, crediting the birth of category killers to when Charles Lazarus converted his fathers bike shop in 1923 to what would become Toys R Us.

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